AFRICOM Willing to Work with China

The U.S. military’s relatively new African Command, or AFRICOM, has expressed an openness to working with China’s military, should the opportunity arise, says its commander. Stars and Stripes has a rundown of AFRICOM, China’s role in Africa, and areas where those might overlap or be incompatible:

Despite the U.S.-China rivalry — and different approaches toward the continent — the new U.S. Africa Command might see fit to eventually work there with China’s military, or anyone else’s, according to Gen. William E. “Kip” Ward, the AFRICOM commander.

“There’s work being done by many nations on the continent of Africa,” Ward said. “Whether it’s the Chinese, the Indians, other European nations, other Asian nations — clearly to the degree that we can cooperate in reaching common objectives, we want to do that.

“And there’s enough work for all, to be sure.”

As U.S. policy makers sort out the palatability of working with China, others ponder the common ground on which their militaries could operate in Africa.

While Stuttgart-based AFRICOM advertises humanitarian motives, critics condemn resource-poor China’s business-only approach toward buying oil from Sudan, minerals from Zimbabwe, and vital resources from other African nations.

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